CA ANG Outstanding Airmen Celebrated

  • Published
  • By CMSgt Jim Raff
  • Hq 162CCG
In a sea of noise makers, bubuzellas, thunder sticks, and air horns, the California Air National Guard airmen of the year rose above the decibels and will reign as California's best of the best for 2011.  An evening of celebration followed the announcements of the winning nominees.  An in keeping with tradition, the winners became the standard bearers for the entire CA ANG.

The 162d Combat Communications Group faired well, winning two of the four categories.  Staff Sergeant Laura Andersen and Senior Master Sergeant Ernest Williams won in the Airman and First Sergeant categories.

SSgt Anderson is an Operations Intelligence Journeyman assigned to the 216th Operations Support Squadron (OSS) at Vandenberg AFB.  SSgt Andersen enlisted in the United States Air Force in 2004, and after attending Basic Military Training and technical school, was assigned to the 614th Space Intelligence Squadron at Vandenberg.  In October 2008, she deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  At the end of her enlistment, in August 2009, she joined the California Air National Guard, and was assigned to the 216 OSS.  Airman Andersen is pursuing her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology.

SMSgt Williams is the First Sergeant for the 147th Combat Communications Squadron.  He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1980.  In 1992, he joined the California Air National Guard.  He deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Patriot, Bearhunt, Team Spirit, Lighting Strike, Cope Thunder Solid Shield, Alpine Warrior, Weapons Tactics and Instructions, Combined Arms Exercise, California Floods 1997, and Rough and Ready 2000.  In 2008, he was elected President of the California Air National Guard First Sergeants' Council.  He holds a Bachelors degree in Systems Engineering Technology.

These individuals will now compete at the Air National Guard level against winners from 49 other states and 4 territories.

Congratulations and good luck.